Artists are more than willing to jump on the political train to make a buck these days. Trump, presidents, politics, these are all dollar signs to singers and actors alike.
After a long hiatus spend dabbling in Haitian politics, singer and rapper Wyclef Jean made a return to the stage to sing once again. Only this time, it was the Salon stage, and this time, he sang a song called “If I Was President.” The lyrics started with “Donald Trump” and several references to American politics.
In the third stanza, Wyclef made references to assassinations, including his own fictional assassination, as well as Martin Luther King’s, and President Kennedy’s assassinations, and Marvin Gaye’s murder. Then he said, “Children, ain’t nothing new under the sun.”
The song’s first stanza began with a musical recap of 2016:
“Donald Trump, he won the competition.
Hillary Clinton, she put up a competition.
Bernie Sanders, he was removed from the competition.
Y’all should have voted for me.
Wyclef for President.”
The refrain sang about how if he were president, he’d be “elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, buried on Sunday.” To emphasize the assassination bit, the singer made “brap, brap” noises and a shooting motion with his hands. And the second stanza explicitly called out the Trump administration:
“A man say he gonna build a wall
And have Mexico pay for it all.
I called up my Mexican friends,
They say, “See Wyclef, we ain’t gonna pay for shit.
And there’s a riot every week.
People be on the streets.
Everybody, man, they living on the edge.
You could be the next…”
After the music session, Amanda Marcotte interviewed Jean, and asked him how he felt about Trump’s immigration policies, in reference to the DACA policy. Wyclef responded, “True power is when you have the ability to sacrifice yourself so that someone else lives.”
In 2010, Haitian officials deemed Wyclef as ineligible to run for president of Haiti. With lyrics and statements like this, one can see why.